The prospect of a wet Flemington track has prompted trainer Troy Portelli to bypass the Victorian Sprint Series Final with Eight Bills and send the gelding to Sydney.
Eight Bills was among 14 nominations for the Benchmark 95 over 1100 metres on Saturday’s Rosehill program with last-start Takeover Target Stakes winner See The World among the entries.
Portelli has engaged premiership leader Hugh Bowman to ride Eight Bills who finished third in a heat of the winter sprint series last Saturday week behind Broken and Alpha Proxima who will both be at Flemington for the final, a Listed race over 1400 metres.
“The track at Flemington has copped a lot of use and with the wet weather it won’t get any better,” Portelli said.
“It has chopped up. There is no kikuyu, it’s just rye grass.
“There is more rain forecast this week.
“The race at Rosehill is worth $85,000. It’s the perfect rating over the perfect distance and I’d rather he be going around a turn.
“There are a lot more pluses than minuses.”
Bowman was the last jockey to win on Eight Bills and Portelli said it had been frustrating trying to get others to ride the gelding the same way.
“Hugh rode him perfectly at Warwick Farm in December when he won like a Group horse,” Portelli said.
“It took little Dean Holland to get it right and hold him up last time.
“When he is held up he can get to the line.
“Dean rode him really well at his last start. He is a talented young jockey and I think he can be right up there in a few years.”
Eight Bills is already at the Warwick Farm stables of Portelli’s brother Gary and will be given a solid hit-out on Tuesday morning ahead of his Rosehill assignment.
Prizemoney for all races at Rosehill will be $85,000, a $15,000 increase assisted by the court victory for Racing NSW over race fields legislation.